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Keiko Ujikane
For Keiko Ujikane's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
BUSINESS / Economy / ANALYSIS
May 1, 2015
Kuroda shifts to defense in BOJ's struggle to reach inflation target
For the first time, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said his original two-year time frame for reaching 2 percent inflation will not be reached. But it did not prompt him to step on the stimulus accelerator.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 24, 2015
Loyalty to 1960s machine shows risk from Japan's aging factories
The oldest piece of equipment at Osaka Machine Tool Co. has been there so long that only the company's 70-year-old chairman, Katumi Takata, still knows how to use it. He isn't planning to replace it anytime soon.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 10, 2015
'Red purge' during MacArthur era hurt unions now pushing on wages
As annual wage talks climax this month, one of the obstacles to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's campaign for outsize pay raises has its roots in the 1940s: a stunted union movement.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets
Mar 2, 2015
Kuroda approaching limit on JGB buying, says ex-BOJ official
Speeding up the Bank of Japan's purchases of Japanese government bonds would risk further distorting the world's second-biggest sovereign debt market, said Yuri Okina, vice chairman at Japan Research Institute.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets / ANALYSIS
Feb 18, 2015
Bonds' forward yield surging as market assesses risk of BOJ ending stimulus
The bond market is starting to price in the risk that the Bank of Japan will end its stimulus policies before the government has fixed the nation's finances.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Dec 16, 2014
Unlocking growth potential is top task for Abenomics 2.0
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's election win strengthened his hand to move beyond the fiscal and monetary stimulus that brought an end to deflation in his first two years. The tougher task for "Abenomics 2.0" will be to boost Japan's growth potential.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / ANALYSIS
Nov 28, 2014
Crude oil slide thorn in BOJ's side
When a country imports almost all its energy, a slide in oil prices to a four-year low should be helpful — cutting costs for companies and households. For Japan, it may not be so simple.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 23, 2014
Seafood a sweet spot in Japanese exports as yen weakens
Seafood is a sweet spot in Japanese exports this year that is pushing sales of food abroad to a record and gaining strength as the yen weakens.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 13, 2014
Old silk town embraces farm reforms in test of revival scheme
Tomiyoshi Kurogoushi sighs as he looks over the terraced rice fields in the mountains of west Japan that were tended by generations of his family. Most are now covered in weeds and silver grass.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
May 20, 2014
Abe taps Shiller insights on breaking 'shrunken mindset'
Three weeks before the consumption tax was increased last month for the first time in 17 years, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe turned to Nobel laureate Robert Shiller to try to restore a vital ingredient of his economic revolution: optimism.
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 3, 2014
Cash-rich firms spurn banks' offers
Banks are the most keen to lend companies money in 17 years. Corporate treasurers don't need the cash.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 20, 2014
Abe funds matchmaking to ease welfare bill
Over coffee and cake in a rural cafe in Kochi Prefecture, Hideyuki Tanaka, 40, plucked up the courage to speak with Eri, 14 years his junior.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 28, 2013
Tax-free gifts unlocking retiree savings
Shoko Iwasaki looked for years for a tax-free way to pass down a lifetime of savings to her grandson. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered the 71-year-old an answer with a program now helping unlock pensioners' hoarded wealth.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 21, 2013
Thatcher-esque disparities a reality under Abe
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe evokes the late Margaret Thatcher as he repeats 'there is no alternative' to his platform of economic change. One of the byproducts: prospects for a Thatcher-type division of wealth.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Sep 6, 2013
With too many titles to list on 'meishi,' Amari is linchpin of 'Abenomics'
Akira Amari, minister for economic and fiscal policy, has so much on his plate that all of his titles don't fit on his business card. He's also the minister in charge of economic revitalization and reforming social security and taxes, and the head negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.
BUSINESS
Sep 12, 2012
Corporate cost-cutting leaves wages near crisis low
Corporate cost-cutting is dragging on wages, resulting in weaker consumer demand and a stronger case for monetary easing to counter deflation.
BUSINESS
Mar 31, 2012
Output fall clouds recovery
Industrial production unexpectedly dropped in February, undercutting signs of an economic rebound in the first quarter as policymakers assess whether to apply further stimulus.
BUSINESS
Aug 5, 2011
Finance Ministry intervenes to stem gains in currency
Japan followed Switzerland in seeking to stem appreciating exchange rates that threatened to damage export competitiveness, selling the yen and pledging to inject ¥10 trillion ($126 billion) in funds into the economy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 16, 2011
BOJ chief sees only bubbles on horizon
With his nation's economy contracting under disaster damage of as much as ¥25 trillion ($310 billion), Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa is signaling that his biggest worry is inflation.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 15, 2011
Further BOJ easing needed: IMF's Shinohara
The Bank of Japan may need to provide further monetary stimulus if power shortages, supply chain disruptions and the nuclear crisis after the quake are prolonged, the International Monetary Fund's No. 3 official said.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on